Kyle Bennett cheers music to Pompey boss’ ears

Kyle Bennett shone for Pompey
Kyle Bennett shone for Pompey
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The Fratton end’s appreciation was noted by Paul Cook.

Recognition of Kyle Bennett’s latest performance – and music to the ears of the Blues manager.

It’s not Kyle’s quality that shines through for me, it’s his work ethic and his work rate

Paul Cook

There were several renditions of ‘One Kyle Bennett’ during Saturday’s impressive 3-0 victory over Crawley.

The winger may not have appeared on the scoresheet or assisted any of Pompey’s goals, nonetheless he was in inspired form.

There was also the sight of the 25-year-old winning a tackle in his own penalty area as he displayed a willingness to track back.

Matt Clarke, Marc McNulty and substitute Gary Roberts netted as Cook’s men got off to a winning start to 2016.

Yet it was Bennett who stole the show with a man-of-the-match performance.

And Cook was delighted with the continued contribution of the former Doncaster winger.

He said: ‘I heard the fans sing Kyle’s name and that’s what our players deserve I feel.

‘The supporters believe in them at the minute and that is good.

‘We are starting to see what Kyle is about.

‘Early on this season sometimes when these teams are that deep and frustrating, Kyle was making a couple of mistakes in possession and that was picked up on.

‘But it’s not his quality that shines through for me, it’s his work ethic and his work-rate.

‘On Saturday there were two or three occasions when he has run deep into our half to win possession back. As a manager that pleases you no end.

‘If he keeps doing that he will get the plaudits he deserves.

‘It’s a team game, a squad game at the minute, we did well on Saturday and nicked a few goals.

‘And we haven’t conceded at home for an awful long time now.’

Not since a last-gasp leveller for Stevenage in a 1-1 draw have the Blues conceded a league goal at Fratton Park.

That was back on October 20 – seven matches ago.

The superb run didn’t look like ending against Mark Yates’ side as Pompey produced one of the most eye-catching displays of the campaign so far, particularly during the opening 45 minutes.

Clarke and McNulty, in their final appearances before the expiry of their existing loan spells, both scored during the first-half.

Crawley improved after the break, but Roberts climbed off the bench to convert Ben Tollitt’s pass for a late third to wrap up the excellent win.

Cook added: ‘I felt we were flat in the second half. I didn’t really feel we got going but credit must go to Crawley for that.

‘It’s easy for us to criticise what we are doing but sometimes you must take your hat off to the opposition and say they never allowed us to play.

‘It was important to get that third goal and you expect the quality of our subs to make an impact when you’ve got Gary Roberts and Ben Tollitt’s energy,

‘I’m just disappointed we never got Tollitt more of the ball. When you know you have that outlet you get them on quickly.

‘Ben’s a good player and also put a good cross in for Caolan Lavery at one point.’